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      CommentAuthorUncleArly
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2014
     
    Well, we have the next years construction threads, but we didn't really have one for general park news/trivia, so here it is!

    Anyway, found this really interesting article about the planning process for Helix and what could have been.


    The article
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      CommentAuthormcrc.2305
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2015
     
    that is really interesting, i had heard about them designing a mega coaster before helix but i never knew it would look like that. in my opinion the layout that became helix was the best and most interesting.
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      CommentAuthorJL NoLimits
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2015 edited
     
    That's old! I really think that helix was a better choice:)
    Green Fire should make a coaster with a park.
    But helix makes a park with a coaster :)
  1.  
    I think the final iteration of Helix looks like they scribbled all over the landscape and tried to hide the messy layout by making the track green lol. I understand why they chose that over the mega coaster, but at the same time I think the result is way more overwhelming than a taller ride with a more linear path. Though I'm sure the ride experience is a lot of fun, the only thing I really like a lot about the current version is how they integrated the station into that structure around the drop tower. That was pretty slick.
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      CommentAuthorUncleArly
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    Reports that two trains on The Smiler have collided are flying around Social Media and have confirmed that *something* has happened.

    Edit: There is an air ambulance on site.





    EDIT2: BBC News article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32980354?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central
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      CommentAuthor1blueshe
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Holly shit! Wtf how did that happen?
    •  
      CommentAuthorProjektion
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    I don't understand how this happened, isn't this the reason coasters have a blocking system?
    •  
      CommentAuthorUncleArly
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    No idea. Must be some sort of computer failure, surely?
  2.  
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      CommentAuthorDonidia
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    Code beat me to it.
    • CommentAuthorsprog
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    That's in the valley of the batwing from the looks of things - How did this even happen, that's one block between the first drop and MCBR before the second lift...

    I'm assuming the empty train stalled from being trimmed too heavily on the bunnyhop (as has happened before), but then somehow the second train didn't stop on the lift hill and carried on into that block?
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      CommentAuthorUncleArly
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    It's very windy around here at the moment, so that plus an empty train...
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      CommentAuthorKingRCT3
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    How is this even possible, seriously! In an european park, on a German manufactured coaster, IT. SHOULD. NOT. BE. POSSIBLE.
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      CommentAuthorggddffhh
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    Obviously a computer and operator error. Firstly there is CCTV across the ride and they should have seen that the empty train had valleyed. The second train was sent out after the empty train had valleyed.

    Also, the second train shouldn't have been allowed to travel up the lift hill until the empty train was to reach the second lift on the block section. The second train should have stopped after the heartline roll on the block section. This therefor means that there was a computer/sensor error.

    Very bad.
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      CommentAuthoriSatnav
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Posted By: KingRCT3IT. SHOULD. NOT. BE. POSSIBLE.

    That would be correct.
    I believe that all reliable coasters run on PLCs. These are three or more computers running the same tasks and making the same decisions. If one computer says something different to the others, the entire ride is supposed to shut down. So, either all of the computers said that the train had cleared the block or the sensors are broken. I'd put money on the latter.

    Either way round, this is a catastrophic day for the theme park industry and is sure to result in both financial disaster and a total loss of trust from the public, which is a whame.
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      CommentAuthorKingRCT3
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    This is really getting me uncomfortable... On most accidents, it's a human error, a rule has been transgressed... But here, even if it started with a human error somewhere, it should not have be possible at all... I can't explain it, it defy all the logics and the safety devices, redundancies... Everything we put our trust into...
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      CommentAuthorDanSm1l3r
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Active on TowersTimes now, will bring updates as we hear them
    -Dan
    • CommentAuthorrct800
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Oh my god... I hope it's not Gerstlauers fault
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      CommentAuthorDonidia
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    according to sources, the ride was held at the top of the lift hill:


    The identity of the person has been hidden.

    Minutes later, it cleared the top of lift 1, and crashed into the empty stalled train.
    • CommentAuthorInkyz
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    I'm going June 12th, do you think I'll be okay?
  3.  
    ^ you have 10 days. It would cut it very close even if they did find the cause right away. Only time will tell.
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      CommentAuthorJAMMYD778
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Well I certainly wouldn't count on The Smiler being open for your visit unfortunately. Most likely going to out of action for several months for investigative purposes.
    •  
      CommentAuthorviking86
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    Scary news, this should not be possible. Will be very interesting to see the result of the investigation on this ride. Fingers crossed that all passengers will be okay.

    Posted By: InkyzI'm going June 12th, do you think I'll be okay?


    I would not expect the ride to be open again in 10 days, this could easily be a lengthy ride closure.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDonidia
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    look at it this way, when the runaway mine-train crashed, that was closed for 4+ months, before it reopened - and that was far less serious than what this is.

    I would be surprised if I see it open again this year.
    • CommentAuthorInkyz
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Didn't the runaway mine train derail though?
    •  
      CommentAuthorDonidia
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    nope, the train split in half and crash into each other.
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      CommentAuthorlamewad
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    I can't imagine seeing Smiler open again for the 2015 season. They are now down two trains and will have a lengthy review of the accident. This is terrible.
    • CommentAuthorInkyz
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Well, sheesh. I'm disappointed, but I'm generally more concerned for the people involved.
    • CommentAuthorJetPulse
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    So, this can still be 100% human error. Although the controller is designed to prevent these things, they pretty much always have an admin override mode where an operator can override pretty much every safety system. This is used during abnormal operations (restarting the ride after being shut down, running tests, etc...) It's not surprising that the ride would have to be brought into an override mode after it broke down (especially a "only broken down for an hour-ish"). Often when coasters "break down" its because some safety exception has been thrown and it just needs be reset.

    It will be interesting to see the exact course of events that lead up to this. If the train did sit at the top of the lift for an extended duration, that would suggest that the controller didn't automatically send the train and then the hold command was overridden by an operator.
  4.  
    I heard somewhere that the ride was reset after the empty train was sent out, which could makes sense if they wanted the train that had been stopped at the top of the lift to continue through the course.
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      CommentAuthorChukensky
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    I have literally no idea how something like this could happen, it's somewhat impossible
  5.  
    first of all, let me just get this one out of the way: this happened in 2012 "Big Dipper Collides"2

    i can see a lot of investigation will be put into this, and most likeley delay the opening of karnan until a full report on who or what caused this tragic accident.

    Posted By: IronWolfmanI heard somewhere that the ride was reset after the empty train was sent out, which could makes sense if they wanted the train that had been stopped at the top of the lift to continue through the course


    that was something i thought of too
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      CommentAuthorChukensky
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIP90XhcsW0&feature=youtu.be
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      CommentAuthorKingRCT3
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Short video shot after the accident. The two trains are litteraly stuck together...
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      CommentAuthorProjektion
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    Even if Gerstlauer aren't the ones directly responsible for this, I can see them receiving a lot of the repercussions of this . A ride barely even 2 years old has catastrophically failed injuring 16 people and putting 2 trains out of service

    Posted By: IronWolfmanI heard somewhere that the ride was reset after the empty train was sent out, which could makes sense if they wanted the train that had been stopped at the top of the lift to continue through the course.

    I didn't think a coaster could reset properly unless all the trains were stopped on brakes. Surely if during the reset all the trains weren't accounted for, the ride wouldn't start back up.
  6.  
    Posted By: ProjektionEven if Gerstlauer aren't the ones directly responsible for this, I can see them receiving a lot of the repercussions of this . A ride barely even 2 years old has catastrophically failed injuring 16 people and putting 2 trains out of service


    i agree. this will most likely have an impact on all 4 car infinity coasters (and possibly the two car launched ones), but all other coaster designs should fly through unscathed by this
    • CommentAuthorJetPulse
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    The problem is the ride doesn't know how many trains to look for when it starts up. What if I took a train completely off the tracks for maintenance? Then I want operations to continue with 1 less train. To the computer, it wouldn't know the difference between that and a train stalled in the middle of the course.

    That being said, the fact that the train sat at the top of lift for 10 minutes suggests that the computer didn't send the train. I'm still thinking that one of the people working on the ride overrode the hold on the train and sent it through not realizing that the empty train stalled on the track was unaccounted for. The fact the the train was stopped is also why nobody brought it to the operator's attention. It appeared the safety mechanisms did what they were supposed to do. They realized the block was occupied and stopped the next train from entering. However, that was eventually overridden. Maybe by a system reset or a safety override, we don't know.

    Still, I feel really bad for the people on the train. Sitting at the top of the lift for 10 minutes, they probably saw the empty train valleyed on the track. Then when they were sent over the top they had some time to consider what was about to happen...
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      CommentAuthorbestdani
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    Really bad news, would be really surprising when this was caused by a technical issue.

    I've vistited Gerstlauer in fall and from the conversations there I would not be surprised when the control system of Smiler knows the total number of trains that are on the rails.
  7.  
    Smiler has been a real basket case. Shame. Have any other Gerstlauer coasters had nearly this many problems in just the first two years?
    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    @ JetPulse: Holy shit. I hadn't even considered the fact that they may have been able to see the stalled train from where they were. Anyone know if you can see the valley of the batwing from the lift they were stalled on?
  8.  
    Basically staff were extremely unobservant, which resulted in an equally extreme problem.
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      CommentAuthoriSatnav
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    I wouldn't be jumping to any conclusions yet. This could be a cocktail of many different malfunctions.
    • CommentAuthorInkyz
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Do you think they'll reopen it or not?
  9.  
    ^Most likely not.
  10.  
    can i just quickly remind you that all coasters have this on them



    this is to soften crashes in case they happen. crashes are a considered risk by EVERY design company...
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      CommentAuthorProjektion
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    ^^^I reckon it'll be down down for at least a few months, if not the 2015 season.

    ^ Except the Smiler on the front of the train
  11.  
    what projektion said about down time
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      CommentAuthoriSatnav
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015 edited
     
    I reckon it will be closed for the rest of the year at the very least. This will also allow for many test runs and entirely new systems and ride cars if the report calls for it.
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      CommentAuthorviking86
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2015
     
    Posted By: COASTERGUY246can i just quickly remind you that all coasters have this on them



    this is to soften crashes in case they happen. crashes are a considered risk by EVERY design company...


    Surely those are to avoid any mechanical damage if two trains bump together in the station, brake or storage area?? And then I mean bump, not crash. I can hardly imagine they had high-speed crashes out on the circuit in mind when this kind of bumper was designed.
  12.  
    Posted By: viking86Surely those are to avoid any mechanical damage if two trains bump together in the station, brake or storage area?? And then I mean bump, not crash. I can hardly imagine they had high-speed crashes out on the circuit in mind when this kind of bumper was designed.


    That is true. I still believe these had to have made the impact somewhat lighter. Rollercoasters are not really designed to take crashes, rather the safety is in the blocks and computer system.

    As someone mentioned a reset. Wouldn't a reset first require all trains to come to a standstill at a block? There must surely be some safety mechanism that ensures all trains are accounted for before a restart can be made.

    Also while these things should never happen, I feel like this whole story is going to be blown complete out of proportions. No one ever really consider how dangerous driving a car is, while rollercoasters are always made out to be "death machines" when these things happen.